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Be enchanted by Orlando

  • 10 February 2016
  • Blog
  • General

The Theme Park Capital of the World lives up to its reputation, with destinations like Gatorland, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida happily satisfying the attention spans of big kids and little kids since the 1960s. The added bonus for visitors is the city’s natural beauty. Florida has hundreds of small lakes and is nestled in the heart of the everglades. This town is fun with a capital F, and still manages to offer plenty of fine dining to help balance out the guilty culinary treats. Get ready for the ride of your life.

Virgin Atlantic flies to Terminal A at Orlando International Airport.

The must sees
The USA invented the theme park and nobody does them better. Kids will be kept delighted for weeks, but a cavalcade of thrilling rollercoasters ensure the parks of Orlando aren’t just for the little ones. Newcomers shouldn’t miss Walt Disney World, which retains its crown as the premier venue of this unique genre of entertainment. But keep some time up your sleeve for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter World, which is worth the ticket price alone for a chance to try your first mug of butterbeer. Orlando’s natural wetlands are also unmissable, with everglade tours and airboat rides getting you closer to real alligators, rather than animatronic ones.

 

Local delicacies
Orlando’s embrace of tourism means there is a vast range of culinary choices, although this can make it trickier to spot the places the locals enjoy too. The city has the largest growing Latin community in the country so it’s not surprising this cuisine is in plentiful supply. Guavate (Puerto-Rican), Pio-Pio (Colombian) and Black Bean Deli (Cuban) offer homestyle favourites in a range of surroundings, although vegetarians might need to sneak in a cheese sandwich. Fine dining isn’t impossible to find and your best bet is to visit the Waldorf-Astoria, unless you’re lucky enough to be staying there. The hotel includes local branches of their New York counterparts, including Bull & Bear, Peacock Alley and Oscar’s. For great Italian try Christini’s Ristorante Italiano or The Rusty Spoon, which offers an American take on the gastro-pub.

Why I love
Orlando’s embrace of tourism means there is a vast range of culinary choices, although this can make it trickier to spot the places the locals enjoy too. The city has the largest growing Latin community in the country so it’s not surprising this cuisine is in plentiful supply. Guavate (Puerto-Rican), Pio-Pio (Colombian) and Black Bean Deli (Cuban) offer homestyle favourites in a range of surroundings, although vegetarians might need to sneak in a cheese sandwich. Fine dining isn’t impossible to find and your best bet is to visit the Waldorf-Astoria, unless you’re lucky enough to be staying there. The hotel includes local branches of their New York counterparts, including Bull & Bear, Peacock Alley and Oscar’s. For great Italian try Christini’s Ristorante Italiano or The Rusty Spoon, which offers an American take on the gastro-pub.

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